A student suspended in my office today was having a reeeeeaaallllly hard time sitting and completing his assignment. He was whining incessantly about the injustice of it all, tapping his pencil, asking a million questions, constantly having to go to the bathroom, and going through long stretches of refusing to work at all.
Finally, with my stress level about to hit the ceiling (of course, there’s never just one kid having trouble at a time, so there are about forty other things I’m also trying to manage), I stopped and just put my elbows on my desk and my face in my hands. I sat there and just breathed for a minute, trying to a) collect myself and stay calm, b) model good anger management strategies, and c) make it clear how incredibly annoying he was being.
This response was very confusing to him, and he quickly went quiet as he tried…
Once upon a time, we had a pretty serious incident at school involving a knife and some police officers (and me crying in my office as I realized one of my favorites had ruined his life and I couldn’t save him, but that’s for another story). Unfortunately, it also involved me being new to my…read more »
I had a parent this evening screaming at me on the phone. This isn’t exactly uncommon in my job, and it’s definitely not uncommon with this parent. She was giving me a piece of her mind, and I was staring out the window with the phone about three inches from my ear, waiting for her…read more »
A student in my office today had a pair of white Apple headphones hanging out of his pocket. I held out my hand to confiscate them, and he unplugged them from something before passing them to me. Obviously, I then also wanted whatever was in his pocket playing music. I held out my hand…read more »
I’ve dealt with enough knives that I don’t mess up the photographing procedure anymore. I’ve done enough bag searches that I can tell you which stashed lunch items rot and give off the most drug-like smells. I know my district police phone number by heart and can tell you most of the officers’ names. I’ve…read more »
Imagine a middle school child throwing a temper tantrum. There’s yelling, crying, running around, and lots of refusal to follow directions. Naturally, it always ends up in my office. Today, the tantrum was coming from a girl who decided that defiance was her best course of action once she’d been sent out of class.…read more »
I was much more forgotten this Valentine’s Day than I have been in years past. The sweet kids who think to bring presents for teachers don’t normally spend much time in my office, so I was hardly top on their lists this year. I had more than one awkward moment where a kid would see…read more »
School rule: punch someone, get suspended. Simple enough. This also happens to be a highly controversial rule. Last week, one seventh grade boy said something very disrespectful to a classmate, who turned and punched him. A fight ensued, and I suspended both of them. The family of the kid who punched first is up in…read more »
Imagine if your dad went to prison when you were in kindergarten. You visit him every Tuesday afternoon for six years and wait for him to come home to your family. Then he gets released a year earlier than you expected and doesn’t come home. Poof. You don’t hear from him again. I’d probably…read more »
I am surrounded by a lot of talk of jail recently. I don’t know why, but it seems to be trending pretty seriously over the last few weeks. Sometimes, it’s a teacher giving the “what do you want your life to be?” lecture, which ends up involving a “wouldn’t this be terrible?” piece about…read more »